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Whistle Stop on track with new owners posted on 08/31/2019

Marc Accuardi and Darren Wiese were familiar with the Whistle Stop Bar & Grill, both having spent time in their youth on the Mountain, and more recently, enjoying breakfast there during the past 12 years. And when they found out that the local eatery was going to close down last Jan. 1, they took a look into it, decided it had some good potential, bought the business and took over on July 1.

“We make a very balanced team,” Accuardi said, noting that he has 45 years in the restaurant business, while Wiese had a career in the beverage industry.

The friends and business partners have a vision to “elevate the game,” with some of the first improvements to the menu including switching to 100 percent grass-fed beef and Grand Central sesame buns, with sauces and gravy made from scratch, and a Shrimp Louie salad that has had truck drivers coming back for seconds. Wiese has upgraded the bar, with better well liquor and the addition of other liquors not found nearby, including Sazerac Rye and Jim Beam Black Label, all of which have already been noticed by the customers.

Meanwhile, they also have plans for more improvements, including upgrades to the kitchen and the outdoor patio area, all while cultivating a menu that has dishes that aren’t found elsewhere on the Mountain.

“We want to have our own niche here,” Wiese said, adding they will have a very “thoughtful approach” and keep prices reasonable for the local residents.

The owners also praised the staff they inherited, including Kaye Lessor, the bartender of 13 years that first let them know the restaurant might close, and Victor Ruis-Munez and Bill King, the cooks.

“We want to see them prosper,” Accuardi said. “Victor and Bill have really taught me a ton about the breakfast trade. It’s a blast, I’m having a ball in here.”

Meanwhile, they also hope to see more success in the trivia night (every Tuesday) and karaoke nights (Friday and Saturday). One recent karaoke night, a couple big groups came in and Accuardi described the atmosphere as like a roadhouse, with everyone in the restaurant joining in on the fun.

“It’s been successful and fun so far; we’re pretty blessed with it,” Wiese said. “We’re feeling fortunate to have something in the community and have a home for everybody.”

The Whistle Stop Bar & Grill is located at 66674 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches. For more information, call 503-622-3440 or find the restaurant on Facebook.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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